Accessibility links

Breaking News

Activists In Almaty Urge Ukraine Not To Extradite Kazakh Blogger Akhmet

Kazakh activists rallied in Almaty on January 8 in support of opposition blogger Zhanar Akhmet.
Kazakh activists rallied in Almaty on January 8 in support of opposition blogger Zhanar Akhmet.

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Activists in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, have urged Ukraine not to extradite Kazakh opposition blogger Zhanar Akhmet over safety concerns.

Dozens of activists rallied in central Almaty on January 8, holding posters saying "Do Not Extradite Zhanar Akhmet," "Akhmet's Extradition Is Kazakh Government's Political Order," and "Stop Extradition Process!"

The process to extradite Akhmet has been under way in Ukraine since October 2017, after she was arrested in Kyiv on the basis of a Kazakh arrest warrant that accuses her of fraud.

Zhanar Akhmet (file photo)
Zhanar Akhmet (file photo)

In November 2017, a court in Kyiv released Akhmet at the request of Ukrainian lawmaker Svitlana Zaklishchuk, pending a decision on her extradition.

Akhmet fled Kazakhstan in March 2017 with her son, who was 9 years old at the time, saying she feared for her safety if she remained in the Central Asian nation.

Akhmet has said she decided to flee when she learned from sources that she could face charges of "organizing an illegal group" that uses the Internet to advocate self-immolation.

She previously faced a series of court hearings in Almaty for alleged infractions, including jaywalking, that she considered politically motivated retaliation for her criticism of authorities.

At least four other Kazakh opposition and rights activists -- Ermek Narymbaev, Moldir Adilova, Aidos Sadyqov, and Natalya Sadyqova -- also have fled to Ukraine in recent years.

  • 16x9 Image

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service offers informed and accurate reporting in the Kazakh and Russian languages about issues that matter in Kazakhstan, while providing a dynamic platform for audience engagement and the free exchange of news and ideas.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.